Chortle Portal / Confessional / Good Grief

She Liked Ted

My dad was on his way out to the Sunday Matinee of The Wolf of Wall Street, but first he had to pick his lady friend up from church.

“Are you sure you’re comfortable seeing this movie with this woman?”  I asked my dad.  I’d seen the movie a few weeks before and was delighted by its graphic sex scenes and record-breaking profanity.  But I thought it might be uncomfortable for my dad, depending on how straitlaced his friend was.

My dad shrugged his shoulders, “No, she read in the paper that it breaks the record for using the f-word and she knows what it’s about.  But she wants to see it.”

“OK, good,” I said.  “I thought the movie was hilarious.  There were some moments of physical comedy that were kind of like slapstick, like something Mom would have enjoyed.  You’ll have to tell me what you think, but I bet Mom would have actually liked the movie despite the ted bearprofanity.”

“Oh yeah, your mom was no prude!” my dad said.

“No, I know she wasn’t a prude.  She liked Ted, right?”  I remembered my mom had seen that movie shortly before she died and she thought it was hilarious.

“What?”  My dad looked at me incredulously.

“She liked Ted, right?”  I repeated for my dad.

“What?!” My dad looked totally confused.

I said it again, very slowly this time, “She liked Ted, the movie, Ted!  Didn’t she?”

“Oh!  Yeah!  She liked Ted,” my dad shook his head and said, “I thought you said ‘head.’  I thought you were saying, ‘Mom liked head’.”

I shuttered at the thought, “No!!  NO!!  TED!!  THE MOVIE, TED!!  NOT head!  I did not say that!”  I plugged my ears and squinted my eyes in an effort to prevent any visuals from popping into my mind.  It was futile.

My dad was laughing, “I couldn’t believe you’d say that, but I was like, well, it is Mary!”

“No!  Please don’t say anything else on this topic, Dad!”  I curled up into a ball on the couch.

da bears

In therapy I talked about living at my dad’s house. I told my therapist that I’m grateful to be here; my kids are safe and comfortable, Chris is happy as a clam, and my dad goes out of his way to give us privacy.  But I’m homesick.  I said that it will be nice when our house is safe and livable again. It will be good to return to our normal lives.

“You might be surprised,” she warned me.  “In some ways, you may be sad when you have to move out of your dad’s house.”

I smiled.  “I guess, maybe,” I said, just to appease her, but I didn’t really entertain the thought.

da bears

When I was a kid my dad had a lot of running jokes.  Whenever my sisters or I had a friend over for dinner my dad would try to collect money from them to pay for their meal.  The friend never got the joke and it was always very awkward.  Then, when dinner began, my dad would put his hands together and bow his head.

“Let us say grace,” he’d solemnly say.

The friend would inevitably follow his direction and put their hands together to pray.  Then my dad would burst out laughing.

“Just kidding!  We don’t ever say grace!”  We’d all be laughing at the friend by that point.  But my dad followed up with his own version of grace.

“Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub!  Yaaaaay, God!”

da bears

My dad takes me out on a dinner date once a month.  He lets me choose wherever I want to go.  We usually sit and continue to talk for a while after our meal.  Our conversations are invaluable to me.  My dad tells me lots of things I never knew about how he was thinking and feeling when I was a child.  Sometimes he repeats himself. I can tell he really wants me to know certain things.
He tells me that when he thinks about his life with my mom, he doesn’t yearn for the more recent days when she was sick.  He really misses the days when his family was young and we were all under the same roof. Back then, when he came home from work, there was always a little girl waiting to jump into his arms.
But those days were long gone anyway, he says.

And I don’t know how many times my dad has told me, “Mary, there comes a time that you pick up your daughter.  And that is the last time you ever pick her up.  But you won’t know it at the time.  That’s just it, though.  That’s the last time you ever pick your daughter up and hold her.”

Those are hard things to think about.  Especially because I’m the Queen of Waiting Till the Kids are Eighteen.  I adore my daughters and I know that when they’re grown I will miss having children in the house.  But parenting is a huge responsibility.  Sometimes I feel defeated.  Other times I feel unappreciated and I just want to run away.  When times are tough it feels like it will last forever.

It’s good to have my dad around to remind me that the kids will be grown up sooner than I think.  I’m going to miss the silly things they say, the cuddles, poop jokes, and the surprise hugs.

When I tell my dad I’m homesick he says, “Home is where your family is.”

At first it annoyed me, but I know he’s right.

On Tuesday, when he got home from work, he walked in the door and Simone squealed with delight, “Papa!  Papa’s home!”  She bounced up and down in her chair and waved excitedly, “Papa’s home!  Papa’s home!”

My dad beamed as he took off his coat.

And I thought to myself, “When we move back to our house, I’m going to miss this.”

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24 thoughts on “She Liked Ted

  1. Aw, that was just beautiful. 🙂 I am so glad you are writing again, I missed your insights. And your potty mouth. 🙂

  2. This made me miss my dad so much, and also appreciate that my mom is coming to visit for 8 days. While having 5 people in this little apartment for 8 days isn’t the most convenient thing, I’m really happy to have the time with her.

    • I think that losing my mom has made me appreciate my dad so much more than I did before. And appreciate life so much more, in general, I guess. That’s so awesome that you get to spend the week with your mom! I hope you have a nice week!

  3. This is so tender, and so sad thinking about when that last time will be that we pick up our kids. I’m happy your dad can pick up your kids now and relive those special early days. He sounds so awesome. You’re lucky to have him.

    • Thank you Kerry. I agree, I’m so lucky to have him!! It is great that he gets to bond with the kids. He loves them a lot and I can tell he doesn’t take it for granted. Thanks for your sweet comments!

  4. Oh, I love this! You’ve got me crying. I miss those good old days so much, too. I still remember running up into Dad’s arms excitedly, as he was walking in from work. I really am so happy that he gets to have the girls, (and you guys), there with him right now. One major benefit of this whole housing crisis situation 😉

  5. Your dad sounds hilarious! Loved the Ted bit! And as I read your post, I realised that I have already picked my nine-year-old up for the last time. He’s so tall, gangly and heavy. And that brought tears to my eyes. I am like you – in a bit of a hurry to move on to the next stage. But every post I read about appreciating the time while they are small, a little bit of it sinks in.

    • Oh, I know, doesn’t it just break your heart to see them grow to big too hold?! Having my dad around really helps me to appreciate the little ones. Thanks for reading!

      • He still sits on my knee (when the mood takes him), but it’s that picking up, and snuggling bit that I miss. His six-year-old brother is rapidly catching up, and I know his days of being picked up are numbered, too. Very bittersweet!

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